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Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence

Loyola University New Orleans welcomes students of diverse backgrounds and prepares them to lead meaningful lives with and for others and to work for a more just world. With our Jesuit identity at the core of our mission, we believe Loyola is well-positioned to become a national model of inclusive excellence. The diversity of our undergraduate population mirrors that of their generation. As the demographic composition of the United States evolves, we are evolving with it. However, being diverse is a necessary but insufficient condition of inclusive excellence.

All Loyola students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors must be welcomed, included, supported, and recognized equitably. When we can achieve this, we will reap the full rewards of diversity: enhanced learning outcomes, more gratifying working and living conditions, and better preparation for effective global citizenship. With this goal in mind, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee developed this 2022 Strategic Plan for Inclusive Excellence that can be summarized by three overarching goals summarized below. Within each goal, you can read the specific strategies we've outlined and the progress we've made toward our goal since launching the plan.

Goal One: We Create Opportunity

In alignment with our strategic plan, we’re building an inclusive community where students are supported and embraced for who they are.

How we’re achieving it:

  • We’re making sure our students have resources and reporting tools available to them to build a safe campus learning environment where they can openly express themselves and share their input with the university. 
  • We are investing in improvements to our facilities that promote accessibility, including creating gender-inclusive bathrooms and opening a new Center for Multicultural Affairs that will serve as a hub for social justice and diversity initiatives.
Strategy Progress Made

Update and publish Loyola’s Bias Incident Reporting Protocol, including information about the roles and functions of the Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer, Bias Response Team, ombudspersons, Chief Student Conduct Officer, mediators, and Title VII investigators.

An assessment of the Bias Incident Reporting system began in the Fall; In Spring 2021, the updated protocols and clarification of duties will be presented to campus community.

Establish a team of four trained Title VII investigators: two each to investigate formal grievances against faculty and staff.

Effort to enhance training of investigators began in Fall; With Chief Conduct Officer, will complete a needs assessment in Spring to establish more streamlined processes; Currently have four investigators to handle bias cases.

Identify one or more trained mediators to supplement Loyola’s university ombudspersons and Chief Student Conduct Officer in mediating bias-related conflicts between faculty, staff, and students.

This process will begin in Spring 2021 with assistance from Human Resources, Provost’s Office, and Chief Student Conduct Officer

Establish a team of trained volunteer advocates to support complainants and respondents during Title VII/bias incident procedures.

This process will begin in Spring 2021 with assistance from Human Resources, Provost’s Office, and Chief Student Conduct Officer

Publish accessibility protocols for use during outages and other emergencies that limit or inhibit student, faculty, and staff access to buildings, offices, classrooms, and other spaces.

Process will begin in Spring 2021 in coordination with Accessible Education and the Physical Plant

Publish reports of annual assessments of the accessibility of Loyola’s buildings, grounds, and spaces. Include improvement plans.

In consultation with Accessible Education, OEI will begin a full audit of campus in Spring 2021 to understand any impediments to success that exist.

Allocate funds annually to the Office of Equity & Inclusion to ensure Loyola’s success in achieving the goals of this plan.

In addition to funds from the Office of the President, OEI is currently seeking funds (in the form of grants and private contributions) from outside entities to support goals of office

Goal Two: We Teach Our Values

Concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion are built into our curriculum and training programs for students, faculty, and staff.

How we’re achieving it:

  • Loyola’s January Term offers multi-disciplinary courses with a focus on issues of race, equity, and inclusion as they apply to current issues and academic fields of study in an accelerated two-week program between the fall and spring semesters.
  • Through our Paws and Reflect orientation program, students engage in small group discussions starting in their first days on campus, reflecting on what it means to foster inclusivity at Loyola.
  • The Office of Equity and Inclusion will expand workshops and events focused on topics including cultural competency, implicit bias, microaggressions, queer advocacy, gender pronouns, and inclusion for historically marginalized groups.
Strategy Progress Made

Develop, with the Office of the Provost, diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice (DEISJ) learning objectives for Loyola students.

Creation of January term in which all courses (spread across several disciplines) revolve around issues of race, equity, and inclusion.

Devise criteria for assigning Loyola courses a DEISJ designation, and create a database of existing DEISJ offerings.

Working with Provost’s office to strengthen and clarify which courses fall under DEISJ classification. J-term has increased our number of DEISJ offerings.

Establish on-boarding DEI education and training programs for new students, faculty, and staff that demonstrate Loyola’s institutional commitment to its mission and conveys the University’s expectations for community member conduct.

• Currently have Paws and Reflect, a diversity and inclusion presentation, that is given on demand to various organizations throughout the campus.

• Working to create additional diversity programs for community.

• Creating a new LGBTQ+ workshop that will complement our current training

• Staff development and leadership training program for underrepresented staff is in the pipeline.

Implement annual DEI training that informs faculty, staff, and students for Loyola’s institutional responsibilities and community members’ right and responsibilities with respect to Title IX (which prohibits sex discrimination and sexual misconduct) and Title VII (which prohibits discrimination against federally protected groups) and as articulated in Loyola’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

Will begin working with university Title IX officer in coming weeks to more effectively present this data to Loyola community.

Establish a staff development program with workshops and programs featuring meaningful critical decisions of DEI subjects (e.g., inclusion of historically marginalized groups that are not federally protected, such as LGBTQIA+ persons; cultural competency, implicit bias, microaggressions, etc.).

The first program in this category for staff is currently being developed with initial presentations in February 2021. Program will focus on LGBTQIA+ issues.

Establish a faculty development program with workshops and programs featuring meaningful, critical discussions of DEI subjects (e.g., inclusion of historically marginalized groups that are not federally protected, such as LGBTQIA+ persons; cultural competency, implicit bias, microaggressions, etc.).

The first program in this category for faculty is scheduled for a presentation in February 2021. Program will focus on gender pronouns.

Goal Three: We Live Our Values

Our faculty and staff represent the diversity of our community, and we prioritize financing and resources to realize our goal of inclusive excellence.

How we’re achieving it:

  • Loyola’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is featured prominently in all open positions, and we recruit proactively in employment resources accessed by diverse candidates. We saw a 33% year-over-year rise in the percent of full-time faculty hired in the 2020 – 2021 school year who identify as people of color.
  • Loyola actively pursues relationships with vendors and partner companies that are certified as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), which means they are owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
Strategy Progress Made

Conduct national searches for all open academic positions. Advertise positions proactively in employment resources accessed by diverse candidates. Recruit actively and widely, utilizing personal and professional networks to expand reach to diverse audiences. Prominently feature, in job ads and throughout the application process, Loyola’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Work is being undertaken by DEIC subcommittee with progress to be reported by end of Spring semester 2021.

Conduct regional or national searches, as appropriate, for all open executive/administrative and professional positions, and advertise positions proactively in employment resources accessed by diverse candidates. Recruit actively and widely,utilizing personal and professional networks to expand reach to diverse audiences. Prominently feature, in job ads and throughout the application process, Loyola’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Successfully launched national searches for open positions that landed diverse hires.

Provide training to all search committees in strategies for actively recruiting underrepresented candidates and for ensuring equitable interview and selection processes (e.g., managing implicit biases).

In conjunction with the Provost’s Office and Human Resources, planning for this work will be initiated in Spring 2021.

Offer DEI management training to all department heads and department chairs, covering topics such as implicit bias in evaluation, equitable and effective employee development practices, etc.

This work started in the Fall with presentations to begin rolling out Spring 2021.

Updated January 15, 2021